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D'tai Class

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Klingons
Class Name : D'tai Class
Type : Battleship
Unit Run : 12 built in total. 12 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2363 - 2365, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 654 m [1]
Beam : 552 m
Height : 120 m
Decks : 24
Mass : 5,280,000 metric tons
Crew : 1,200
Armament : 2 x Mark 16 pulse disruptor cannon
10 x Mark 12 disruptor cannon, total output 62,500 TeraWatts
4 x Basic photon torpedo tube with 400 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 2,160,000 TeraJoules
Heavy Duranium / Tritanium Double hull plus 15 cm High density armour.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 8
Maximum Rated : 8.8 for 10 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 1,250
Torpedo Firepower : 200
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 780
Shield Strength : 800
Hull Armour : 1,700
Speed : 735
Combat Manoeuvrability : 880
Overall Strength Index : 816
Diplomatic Capability : None
Expected Hull Life : 50
Refit Cycle : Minor : 5 year
Standard : 5 years
Major : 25 years


The Klingons are noted for their ability to wring every last drop of usefulness out of a design, even sometimes to the point of absurdity. The development of the B'rel class cruiser from the Bird of Prey is a case in point, but having successfully scaled up one design to make an entirely new ship, nobody could have imagined that they would then go even further in the same direction.

In the 2350s the Klingons decided that they needed a new class of ship which would easily match the most capable planned Federation designs. Given the difficulties they had experienced with the Vor'cha design, it was decided to develop a class based as much as possible on existing technology. The B'rel design had long proven itself in action, so the Klingon designers simply scaled up this design still further to an incredible 654 metres long! This resulted in a massive vessel which carried a pair of huge wing tip mounted disruptor cannon, a series of secondary disruptors, and two clusters of the triple fire torpedo tubes developed for the Vor'cha.

Although the development program was relatively quick and successful, the finished vessel was unfortunately not. The drawbacks are not a result of bad design, but are rather inherent to a vessel of this kind. The Klingons strengthened the hull structure to compensate for the larger mass, but modifications of this kind become inherently more difficult as the design is scaled more and more. While the B'rel has shown that it can function successfully, the D'tai proved to be a step too far. This led to limitations being placed on heavy manoeuvring. The placement of the warp coils within the main body of a ship this big led to further reductions in manoeuvrability, while difficulties encountered with shielding the radiation emitted from them led the designers to reduce the vessel's top speed to a mere warp 8.8.

While these problems were not sufficient to cause cancellation of the project, the Klingons did limit the production run to a dozen ships. These served on the Klingon/Romulan or Klingon/Federation border. Their service there was relatively uneventful, although three fo them participated in the Enterprise D's mission into the Romulan neutral zone following the defection of Admiral Jarok.

Following the suspension of the class, the Klingons decided to press ahead with a totally new design of large starship in the project which became the Negh'var.

During the Dominion war all twelve D'tai class vessels saw extensive service. Although they gave a good account of themselves, all were lost during that conflict.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Speculative Comparison of the ship to the Enterprise-D and D'Deridex in 'The Defector'. Note that the 109 metre bird of prey is a different ship which has its own entry.
Source : Speculative
Comment : Comparison of the ship to the Enterprise-D and D'Deridex in 'The Defector'. Note that the 109 metre bird of prey is a different ship which has its own entry.


The D'tai is one of the more speculative classes. It's existence stems from a single appearence, during TNG's "The Defector". Here we see ships of the familiar Bird of Prey design, but clearly they are much, much bigger than any previous ship of this design. The name D'tai is one I've invented just to give myself something to call this thing, and is a nonsense word which is intended to sound Klingon.

The existence of scaled up or down versions of the Bird of Prey at all is, of course, a subject of some controversy. For details see my articles on scaling issues and the Bird of Prey.

The fact that we've never seen this design depicted at this size again has led me to speculate that there are relatively few of them. I suspect that the Negh'var will be used when a big menacing ship is needed in the future, which is why I've speculated that all these ships have now been lost.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 65,785 Last updated : 20 Sep 2016